Russia / Will take COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes possible for my age: Putin

Zoom News : Dec 17, 2020, 08:29 PM
Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday he would receive the Sputnik V coronavirus jab once it is approved for people his age, praising the vaccine as safe and effective.  

Putin -- at his annual end-of-year press conference -- said he had not been vaccinated yet, but "will definitely do so as soon as it becomes possible" according to expert advice.

The president held his annual press conference with a "Direct Line" session, and answered dozens of questions from journalists and ordinary people from around the country to mark the end of a turbulent year for Kremlin.

This year, Putin faced questions on his response to the coronavirus crisis, protests and wars in post-Soviet countries and the US cyberhack.

The Russian president has made few public appearances since the start of the Covid crisis, mostly telecommuting from a windowless room that critics have derided as his “bunker.”

"I am a fairly law-abiding person," Putin said, when asked if he had been inoculated against COVID-19 on Thursday.

"I listen to the recommendations of our specialists. So I haven't had the shot yet. But I will absolutely do it as soon as that becomes possible."

Dmitry Peskov, Putin's spokesman, said in June that the Russian leader was protected from the coronavirus by special disinfection tunnels that anyone visiting his residence or meeting him in the Kremlin must pass through.

Putin is also regularly tested for the coronavirus, Peskov has said.

Russia has recorded more than 2.7 million infections and 49,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Data published this week found the Sputnik V vaccine, which Russian regulators approved in August after less than two months of human testing, to be 91.4% effective.

Putin further said he doesn’t want to comment on rumours regarding COVID-19 sources.

He said, “As for the origins of the coronavirus, there are a lot of rumours. I wouldn’t like to comment on this speaking to the whole country and the world, even more so since we don’t see any proof of any accusations against anyone."

“We should not now be looking for the guilty [parties], but join efforts to fight the issue, this will be the most appropriate direction of our cooperation," he emphasised.